Harnessing collective intelligence !

Harnessing collective intelligence…?” This concept was firstly defined by Tim O’Reilly while doing a conference for defining Web 2.0. This revolves around the user’s participation as well as network effect. It means that the users collaborate within the website for providing useful data, for them & for the other users of site. As more users participate in collating, better quality of information will be gathered by the website. Web 2.0 has become a norm in the modern Internet. Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, each utilizes collective intelligence for creating content.

The Sina Weibo is a Chinese microblogging website. Weibo is best described as a hybrid of Facebook, Twitter and even WordPress, and it is one of the most popular websites in China, it has more than 30% of Chinese Internet users. Weibo was launched by the SINA Corporation on 14 August 2009, and has since grown to a population of 368 million registered users as of mid 2012. About 100 million messages are posted each day on Sina Weibo.

Weibo is commonly misunderstood by many businesses as a single platform. The term “weibo” (微博) means “microblog” in Chinese. The cause of this misunderstanding is due to the fact that the “weibo.com” domain name is being owned by Sina, the largest weibo platform. However, there are other large platforms in China such as, Tencent, Sohu and NetEase each have more than 50 million registered users.


To compare Sina Weibo against the O’Reilly’s Harnessing Collective Intelligence pattem:

    1. Reward the user first: The application allow user to get the information that they needed. It is very easy for the user to gain access to his or her own blog, as well as blog posts and
    comments of other users. Users have free access to almost all of the contents in Weibo.

    2. Set network effects by default: As a microblog website, Weibo users built up the website by posting about everything from their daily lives to specific thoughts about products, restaurants, etc. User participation indirectly from self-interests succeed in generating more network traffic.

    3. Involve user, explicitly and implicitly: applications should create value from both explicit and implicit participation. Explicitly, Weibo involves users by allowing them to create contents through writing blog and commenting on posts of other users.

    4. Provide a meaningful context for creation: In this case, it is very difficult to provide a subject matter when users are allowed to post almost everything on their blog. Information can be everywhere in the application.

    5. Trust your users: There are a lot of people constantly following Weibo, and with the huge population in China, users could be judge instantaneously and other users will make comments telling if the information is false or out-dated. So most of the user does trust on other users.

    6. Design software so that it improves as more people use it: As more users start using Weibo, it has implemented an English interface to facilitate English speaking users in navigating through the website.

    7. Facilitate emergence: This is where innovation comes in handy, as Weibo are making their website more flexible to use and continuously adding new games and feature to the website.


Increase Customer Engagement

Dont know why the blog that I did was gone missing after I uploaded. So I have to write this over again! Did it happen to anyone before?

Social media marketing is important for any business, no matter you are a small company or a major corporation. Most companies uses it to increase exposure for their business, which in result bring their sales to another level. But while companies recognize the importance of using social media, very few actually know how to integrate it to maximize its benefit. By using social media correctly will increase the customer engagement with your brand, therefore to generate more followers and possibly leads to a better sales.

When it come to buying a flight ticket for a holiday, there is one travel agent that I will always go to. It doesn’t have the lowest price, rewards card or it is close to where I live. But they salesman give me this comfortable and trust able feeling when I am purchasing the ticket or asking for information. So therefore I have some kind of engagement with the agent. So how can Global Journeys increase their customer engagement?  Customer Engagement is like a step after customer get its satisfaction. When a customer have its satisfaction with a certain brand, he or she will start to have engagement with the company and becomes a marketing person to promote for your product. There are 3 tips for Global Journeys to improve customer engagement. Understand and Track User Actions, analyse different metrics, such as the time and frequency customer visit the website/twitter as well as their actions. This allow Global Journeys to know when is the best time to upload a blog/tweets.  Deliver Their Needs, by providing the information the customer needs, such as price, promotion and destination. Allow customer to have a easy access to find their information. Evolve Your Service, having regular update and post as well as updating the service from customer feedback. Customers are likely to look back at the company for new update and offers. By doing this 3 points, will definitely increase their engagement with the customer, as a result to higher profit.

In my own word, a high levels of engagement deliver a better business results. By using social tools like twitter enable companies to understand what their customer need and increase customer loyalty when providing services.

More Reading:

Cloud Solutions Increase Customer Engagement and Retention

Enabling Technologies for Customer Engagement, Conversion, and Retention

Dell generates more than $3 million in sales through Twitter

Social Media ROI: Dell’s $3m on Twitter and Four Better Examples


Information sharing by Wiki

Global Journeys operates various types of coach touring and river cruise all over the world, and the actual conditions and environment in destinations changes frequently. The changes may include the weather, the natural environment, the standards of consumption in one country or the travelling policies in that area and so on. However, many employers in Queensland may not know about those actual changes in destinations which are far away from Australia, such as Europe and China. Have you ever try to ask for some information or features of the destinations where you are heading to but the travel agencies know nothing about it? This really made me uncomfortable for joining the tour.

Thus, this week I am going to describe the wiki strategy of information sharing that may help Global Journeys to gain higher level of customer satisfaction and reputation and also maintain a good system of relevant information. Global Journeys can build a topic that focus on gathering the actual and local information in different countries. Externally, this page can allow both internal employees who are currently working in that destinations and also customers to write, change and comment the content. Existing customers are likely to comment on this page and share their experience and tips with Global Journeys, employees in Europe can post the actual location and environment when they are travelling to different places. This really helps Global Journey to create and expand its reputation, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers can easily find what they want to know in this topic also to post their feelings after travelled with Global Journeys. Internally, Global Journey should also create a corresponding topic for internal use, which can only be accessed by internal staff. This allows staffs to share the information that they do not want to publish, employees can also write suggestion for tours based on the changing conditions that they were aware of during trips.

Overall, Global Journeys can benefit from the strategy of sharing information in wiki to gain customer satisfaction and reputation. Wiki is a good platform that combines employees’ efforts, and achieve the effect of ‘one plus one is greater than two’. However, this is not the only one approach, for more information you can look at other blogs such as; Wiki inside and outside organization, Crowd-sourcing problems with wiki & Wiki and better brand awareness for Global Journeys.


The Internal Blogging & Communication


Today’s blog I will focus on the introduction of internal blogging, and mainly describe its strengths on helping the organization to share information and resource within co-workers and leaders. Global Journey is a traveling business in Australia. It operates coach trip and river cruise all over the world, it owns a huge amount of client groups. The organization can improve its products and service by internally sharing of customer experience or problems that occurs during coaching tour. Internal blogging is a rather popular method that contemporary organizations used to reduce repeated mistakes and improve efficiency.

Briefly, I will elaborate one particular way that Global Journeys can utilize. Wiki is an open system that allows people to view, edit or add content, it provides a simple tool for a group of people to discuss the particular topic. The most significant feature of  Wikipedia is its pertinence towards question, for example, people join one topic in Wiki should strictly focus on discussion on this topic rather than give opinion on other topics. Global Journeys should establish several topics, it can be different problems occurred during tours, special experiences, and tips for new employees and so on. Moreover, since those kind of experience and comments are precise for Global Journeys and it may also become a competitive advantage, when establish the system Global Journeys should be aware that this system should be accessed by internal staff only. In this way, when staffs find difficulties during work they can search for solutions in this system, furthermore, they can post their feedback when take advantage of certain solutions. Obviously,  Wikipedia can help Global Journeys to achieve resource synergy and sharing, allow all staffs to get involved in improving this system and significantly boost its working efficiency. In addition, it helps to reduce the cost of training and accelerate the development of new product and services in Global Journeys. For instance, Ericsson Pty Co. has established such an internal Wiki system in order to allow employees to share information and experience, and to a large extent, improve their efficiency.

Microblogging is an effective tools for organisations to develop its internal communication. However, there are some weaknesses that come with it. For example, in  Wikipedia has its unique code which makes it difficult for new hand to learn how to edit article on the website. Additionally, it is rather complicated to add videos, pictures and songs in Wiki, which will take you a long time to do it. Anyway, there are many other ways that companies can establish its internal blogging, and the internal communication does affect the success of companies.

More reading:

–  Blogging and The Growing Community

–  Tagging by Bloggers, a Small Study

–  Breaking Down Internal Barriers to Innovation


Return on Investment of Social Media!

Return on investment is a key concept for investors to understand the percentage of money they will get back after they invest in a project. An ROI calculation is used along with other approaches to develop a business proposal. It is a way that allows companies to assess if their investments is profitable before the real process begins. ROI is a universal measure of success for business companies to understand how much they are spending in a project and how much they will get in return. Companies do look at ROI before they even start to look at the proposal of a project.  Are there any increases of income rates in sales? Are the time the employees are spending worth the extra expenses?

What is the return on investment (ROI) of social media for a company? Is it important to measure the return on investment of social media? The ROI is a tool that companies can use to measure their efficiency of their investments. Most companies today have difficulties in understanding the ROI of social media. Without right strategies and policies, it is not easy to build and maintain a social media for first time using, much tedious so for enterprises with thousands of employees. However, in recent years, a lot of companies see the value of social media tools and start implementing it. While we all agree that social media is a free and powerful tool to promote a company’s product or to build its reputation, we also know that it takes a fair amount of time to develop a successful social media strategy. In businesses where time is worth million’s of dollars of transactions, time is the last thing that a company have.

In my opinion, I think it is a difficult process to assess the ROI with different companies using different strategies. However the rewards from the process could be very promising. Through setting a goal and calculating the ROI, the company can then draw a picture of how successful the company is with using social media.


Legal risks of Social Media for business

There is no doubt that social media are very powerful tools for business to build up their reputation. However, it is also a very easy tool to be abused by companies if they are consumed by greed. Commonly, companies have to face the issues of copyright infringement, defamation, confidential information and reputation risks due to wrongly use of social media.

In 2009, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought forward proceedings in the Federal Court against Allergy Pathway (AP) Private Ltd and its sole director Paul Keir, on the account of false allegations about AP allergen diagnostic products. AP had to provide undertakings that it would not make more false representations of their products.

However, the ACCC once again brought charges onto the Federal Court against AP in 2010, finding them in breach of previous undertakings and engaged in contempt of Court by publishing the following statements:

(A) Statements and links to statements on their own website and Social Media Pages;

(B) Testimonials posted on the AP website and Twitter pages written by clients;

(C) Client Testimonials on AP’s “Facebook Wall” and;

(D) AP’s answers to queries posted on its “Facebook Wall”.

AP objected to being responsible for statements written by their clients that were posted on its Social Media Pages. However, The ACCC believed that although the statement has been made ​​by a third party, AP is responsible to monitor if those published statements were in violation of its previous undertakings as well.

The Judge of the case ruled AP responsible for breaching previous undertakings in contempt of the Court for a penalty of $7500 within 90 days and to publish corrective advertising.

This case really shows that enterprises have to be really careful what they put up, or even what others put up on their websites so that it isn’t misleading to other consumers. The enterprise itself has the responsibility of its own website, and its up to them to monitor comments left on their web page.

So, please do not leave misleading comments on my blog! =D

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Allergy Pathway Pty Ltd


Benefits of Enterprise 2.0

Implementing Enterprise 2.0 into a company, is that worth it? Enterprise 2.0 aims to achieve productivity, efficiency, staff engagement and reputation via Web 2.0 in an organization. To do so, Enterprise 2.0 does not need any IT professionals to take control of it. Basically it’s a free tool for any company to USE.  However, before beginning with an implementation of collaborative tools, the companies must establish clearly their use and operation policies.

Looking at Google, Google itself is a company who designed and created large amounts of Web 2.0 tools. Google Drive, Google Hangout and Google+ are all powerful tools in their own right. Google also have an official Google Enterprise blog for itself to promote its business and bring it closer to consumers. Some companies encourage their employees to use collaborative tools to work efficiently and to increase engagement, therefore leading to innovation and motivation, they feel better and love to go to their work center.

However, there are still risks to deploying Enterprise 2.0 in a company. The company must face the disadvantages of loss of control, resources and security issues. Due to the fact that there might not be any proper policies set for employees to use them, private information may be leaked out. It is very hard to manage what kind of information flows around the Internet, such as negative comments, leading to a loss of control and a loss of reputation. The company must also pay notice to how much resources its implementation of enterprise 2.0 is using and its productivity, because it might be a waste of resources implementing the system if it has little positive effects.

Overall I believe that Enterprise 2.0 is a successful tool to use, regardless of its potential risks. A lot of companies are implementing it and it is working!